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OPINION: Did you know a Ugandan is head of the world customs body?


Dicksons Kateshumbwa speaks after the Global Customs elections

OPINION | By Amos Wekesa Did you know that a Ugandan is the head of the world customs body now?

Yes, Dicksons Kateshumbwa is in charge now and I must say, supported by the URA team, also made sure Uganda hosted the first meeting of the body in Africa.

It all did not just happen. I remember him one time calling me and saying ‘Amos I will be doing a presentation to the world customs body WCO. I want us to discuss about how best, I can do it.’

I recall telling him people abroad have respect for people who represent their countries well. “Please include a video that showcases Uganda’s beauty because that attracts attention,” I said.

Kats, as he is called, is a very eloquent presenter and yes, he is a very smart guy as well.

He put up a super presentation and Uganda took the day. Commissioner for Customs Kateshumbwa was duly elected Chairperson of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Council in Brussels in June. Kateshumbwa has been the WCO East and South African region Vice Chairman.

When the customs officials from all over the world gathered in Kampala last year for the AEO conference, the first in Africa, the URA team did a super job.  Many of them visited our national parks and I don’t even know how much Uganda earned because of that. Must be a lot of dollars!

Out of a good job he had done, he was elected the boss of the worldwide body recently. Yes, it is committed individuals who make countries shine. Some people think things must find them where they are without handwork, NO!

For a country to grow or be respected, a critical mass of its people must commit themselves to handwork which produces results. Uganda has some scattered efforts but lacks the critical mass of individuals pursuing big dreams.

Okay, some people talk about big dreams, but do not pursue anything serious. And like the Chinese say, ‘talk cant cook rice’….Wee must in different ways, pursue greatness in our spheres of influence.

Recently, Team Uganda (motocross) had their competitions bikes delayed at the border of Zimbabwe and and official Joseph Mwagala called Kats, being the head of customs and the bikes were released. The boys and girls made Uganda proud.

Kats, I celebrate you today. God bless you as you inspire others!


Amos Wekesa is CEO of Great Lakes Safaris




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